Kim Marshall, DPT, CLT, in our Garden Grove office, has been having great success with restoring motion and function for breast cancer patients after surgery and/or radiation therapy. ASTYM treatment, an FDA-Approved Regenerative Soft Tissue Therapy, is just one of the treatments that Kim uses as part of our Breast Cancer Rehabilitation program. Below is a case study that illustrates the effectiveness of the ASTYM treatment.
A 67-year-old female was referred for physical therapy with complaints of right breast encapsulation, which began in late 2019. She was diagnosed in 2015 with stage II cancer of the right breast. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy in August of 2016, sentinel node dissection of the right axilla, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. She began reconstruction in November of 2016 with the implant exchange for the expanders followed by an additional surgery for excess skin removal in April of 2017.
Last year she developed an infection in the right breast area, which was treated with antibiotics. Afterward, she noted tightness in the right breast and her right breast implant assumed an elevated position on her right chest. She was considering surgery to reduce the encapsulation, but she did not want to undergo an additional procedure. She was sent to physical therapy for evaluation and treatment before proceeding with surgery.
On observation: There were well-healed scars along the inferior aspect of both breasts. The right breast appeared elevated and there was palpable tenderness along the medial aspect of the right breast. The bilateral shoulder ROM was grossly WNL. We initiated Astym treatment following the post-mastectomy protocol along with mobilization of the right implant, and clinical exercises directed towards stretching the shoulders and chest area. The patient was treated twice weekly for six weeks then once weekly for two weeks, with one additional follow up one month later for a total of 15 treatments. At the conclusion of her treatment, she was pain-free, “1000% improved” and decided she could avoid surgery.